Relaxing on a day bed while glamping in Slovenia, at the the Big Berry luxury lifestyle resort
SLOVENIA

Discovering Bela Krajina and a New Way of Glamping in Slovenia

By on 20/11/2018

Read why you should go glamping in Slovenia with Big Berry, the best way to explore Bela Krajina in Slovenia. Big Berry, by the Kolpa River, brings a new concept to glamping – Big Berry is in fact a luxury lifestyle resort. Discover a new way to enjoy glamping in Slovenia with Big Berry’s accommodation, a luxury lifestyle resort with a difference.

I’ve always wanted to go glamping, and when the opportunity to visit Big Berry in Slovenia came up, I jumped at it. I am a lover of nature and adventure, and this was a great chance to do what I love in a new way and in a new country. But not only that, Big Berry is a sustainable enterprise, so the appeal to visit and find out how they are working with local businesses and contributing to the local tourist industry made this opportunity even more exciting.

 

A new approach to glamping in Slovenia

By now, we all know that glamping created a new concept for getting up close and personal with nature without having to rough it up. Taking this concept one step further, Big Berry has created the first Slovenian Luxury Lifestyle Resort on the banks for the River Kolpa, in the town of Primostek, south east of the country.

The difference between Big Berry and other glamping sites is luxurious simplicity, personalisation and sustainability.

The Big Berry houses have been decorated by street artists

The Big Berry houses have been decorated by street artists

Set in Bela Krajina, one of the most beautiful and underrated regions in Slovenia, Big Berry works very closely with local businesses to create an immersive experience where you get to know and understand the local culture and also enjoy the local produce. By doing this, they are supporting the creation of a tourist infrastructure that it’s still in its early days, but that fully understands the importance of staying true to its cultural roots.

Big Berry Accommodation, a luxury lifestyle resort

As I mentioned, Big Berry is the next level up from glamping. Accommodation is distributed across one and two bedroom mobile houses that are furnished to a very high design spec. My house, which I shared with three other friends, had a bedroom with a huge super comfy double bed, and a second bedroom with four bunk beds, so it was big enough for 6 people.

We also had a terrace with a table and chairs with views to the river, and best of all, a hot tub! The thought of glamping with a hot tub was cause of much excitement for all of us – even though we ended up running out of time to actually enjoy it properly.

Hot tub with two chairs on the terrace of the Big Berry house

Our own private hot tub

Every morning we were greeted with a breakfast basket filled with the most delicious local produce – mouthwatering cheese and salami, a tub of probiotic yogurt, fresh milk, clarified butter, honey, fresh fruit and the most delicious pogača, the traditional Slovenian welcome bread. In case anyone ever needs convincing, starting the day like this confirms that glamping in Slovenia with Big Berry was the right way to do it!

Discovering Bela Krajina with Big Berry

Bela Krajina is a true hidden gem in Slovenia. Completely off the beaten track, it is the least touristy region in the country, which has its pros and cons. There is hardly any tourist infrastructure in place, which means moving around may be hard if you don’t have your own transport. But the big advantage is that you get to experience the real Slovenia, through authentic experiences that are mostly designed for local people and true to the local way of life. This is the kind of travel I enjoy the most, so I was really looking forward to exploring.

Big Berry puts a big focus on supporting local businesses by bringing them together with visitors who are interested in finding out more about the Bela Krajina way of life and the local produce. So it was little surprise that some of our activities involved local food and drink – just what I love doing when I get to a new destination, discovering it through my palate.

The local flavours of Bela Krajina

We visited Oljarna Pečarič, a family-run farm based in the village of Metlika, that produces excellent cold pressed oils from all kinds of seeds and nuts. The farm started producing walnut oil almost 30 years ago, and has slowly expanded their production to other types of oils, and they now offer over 20 different kinds. We had a tasting session where we tried some beautiful flavours of oil such as black and white sesame, hemp, apricot seed, poppy, rosehip and almond among others. They were all exquisite, but my favourite ones were the pomegrate and pumpkin seed ones.

Another activity that we did that involved a tasting session is when we had a visit from Semiska Penina, a local sparkling wine producer that has been contributing to the wide range of wines produced in Bela Krajina for 20 years. While we sat in the sun on the Big Berry terrace, we tasted three different types of sparkling wine, starting with a drier variety and ending with a sweeter one. I tend to go more for the sweeter-type wine, but I have to say that I found all of them more than agreeable. In fact, I could have drunk a lot more of each of them but this all happened before dinner, so I had to be sensible about it.

During the wine tasting session we learnt that Bela Krajina is an important wine-growing region, but most of the wine is consumed locally. It’s a real shame that these wines are hard to find outside of Slovenia – I loved every single one of the those I tried while I was in the country!

Adventure in the Kolpa River, Slovenia

The Kolpa River acts as a border between Bela Krajina in Slovenia, and Croatia. In fact, the riverbank opposite Big Berry is Croatia and we could have easily swum to it. We’d had pretty heavy rains the day before, so the current was a bit too strong for a swim, so we missed out on that.

We did, however, get to go on a river rafting adventure at Kolpa Krajinski Park. Everyone who knows me well will know that I’ve always been a bit scared of water, so any water activities will trigger my anxiety. Strangely, the anxiety only kicks in before I get in the water and disappears as soon as I’m in, so with this in mind and the fact that I enjoy getting out of my comfort zone, I jumped at the chance of doing a bit of rafting. The water level was pretty high from the recent rainfall, so the weirs didn’t feel too wild (which worked for me!) but it was nonetheless a lot of fun going down the river and anticipating the next drop in water level.

Paddling down the weir in the Kolpa River

Rafting through the weir

After the rafting we went for a short walk, which helped the adrenaline levels get back down to normal. We hiked through the forest to a viewpoint that took our breath away, but we didn’t know this when we started the walk. It was a lovely walk in itself, but it was a real surprise to get to the top of the Sodevska Stena hills and find that we had the Kolpa valley at our feet, with the river meandering through vibrant green fields and the Croatian forests on the other side. This was a true secret spot and a real treat – we didn’t encounter a single person on our walk, and we even had to ask directions to the start of the hike, as there are no signs to get there.

Sitting on a rocky outcrop looking out to the view of the Kolpa Valley

The impressive view of the Kolpa Valley

Relaxation Big Berry style

But it wasn’t all go, go, go! during out stay. We also got to really enjoy the relaxing facilities of Big Berry. The location on the banks of the Kolpa River is perfect for switching off, and with pasture fields on the other side it feels like you are a million miles away from the nearest town.

The creators of Big Berry have really thought of everything when it comes to helping you relax. There are picnic spots everywhere, and my favourite place was right by the river, where from time to time you could see a fish leaping out.

There are also daybeds, with the most comfy mattresses where you can just sink into them and enjoy a good read out of the sun.

Sitting on the day bed enjoying a magazine with green fields in the back

Enjoying my comfy day bed

If you want to be a bit closer to the cows (it’s amazing how soothing it is to just watch them working their way through a field of grass – but don’t worry, there’s a fence that separates you from them), there are a couple of egg chairs hanging from a tree near the cow field. I find swinging really relaxing, and it’s really photogenic too if you know how to sit gracefully and don’t slouch like I do! There’s also a regular swing which, of course, I had to try too.

Slouching in an egg chair hanging from a tree

Slouching is more my style (!) – Photo: Valentina Borghi from BeBorghi

Big Berry really thinks about how to make their resort a sociable place, so if you like meeting new people, there is a BBQ area where the team regularly hold barbeques with lots of grilled deliciousness and more beautiful local wine.

Enclosed area with barbecue pit in the middle surrounded by sofas

The Barbecue Area

And as if this wasn’t enough, I also had a morning massage by the river on my last day. It was lovely to just lie there while the masseuse worked on my knotted muscles listening to the birds singing and the river flow by. No need for a nature sounds playlist here! I really couldn’t have been more relaxed by the end of my stay.

Book your glamping experience at Big Berry

If you’d like to experience the best glamping Slovenia has to offer, the Big Berry Luxury Lifestyle Resort is definitely the right choice. Big Berry is open from the end of April to the end of September and the tariff will vary according to the season, but you can check here if you have some dates in mind:

Check Availability at Big Berry

Getting to Big Berry

Big Berry is approximately two hours by train from Ljubljana, so you have the ideal excuse to spend some time in Ljubljana too, either before or after. The closest train station to Big Berry is Dobravice, and from there you can take a taxi that will cost you £4-£5 (~5-7 USD).

For flight deals to get to Ljubljana, I always check Skyscanner:

 

Have you ever been glamping in Slovenia? Or anywhere else?
Let me know if there are any glamping sites I should try


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Disclosure: A big thank you to Big Berry who hosted me during my trip. As always, all views are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, that earn me a small commission but come at no extra cost to you. Thanks as always for your support!

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3 Comments
  1. Reply

    Anna

    24/11/2018

    I loooooove glamping! But I only really thought it existed in the UK (weird, huh?) so I’m really glad to see you can do it in Slovenia too as I’ve always wanted to go! That day bed looks so comfy, I think I’d be at risk of doing nothing other than relaxing on that all day!

  2. Reply

    Zoe

    24/11/2018

    Slovenia is growing on me to visit more and more with glamping sounds great! Gorgeous photos as always.

  3. Reply

    Portia Jones

    24/11/2018

    I loved my time at Big Berry! It’s such an amazing site isn’t it? I especially loved paddling up the Kolpa River. I really want to get back there. xx

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HI, I'M TERESA!

Hi! I’m Teresa, a London-based traveller and photographer who quit her job in the summer 2016 to explore the world. I’ve been to 39 countries and have ticked some adventures off my bucket list. I hope I can inspire you and motivate you to get out there and explore this beautiful world we live in. Follow my updates and discover the essence of travelling with me!

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